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Plastic Surgery/Lipoma removal after two surgeries


I have a lipoma on my upper shoulder blade.   I had a general surgeon remove it four years ago and it grew back.   Two years ago I went to a plastic surgeon on Long Island to remove it again and it grew back, plus left me with a terrible scar that can be seen when wearing a tank top in summer and at the gym.   I am researching all over to find where to go the third time.   I am also concerned about cost, and is this worth it to abandon my insurance to go where I would like.  I am wondering if having the scar opened a third time, there is going to be a horrible scar no matter what and maybe I should stay in network.

Hi C,

I'm sorry about your experience, from several different standpoints.

First, it is relatively rare for lipomas to recur, and even more so for them to recur twice.  Is there any possibility that the Pathology is wrong?  It's probably a good idea to have that reviewed before proceeding.

Second, the back is, unfortunately, a "bad" part of the body in terms of scarring.  The skin is relatively thick and, combined with the fact that there is constant tension (every time you lean forward), scars in this area tend to be less favorable.  And, in fact, anything that's done to try to improve the existing scar will leave with you with at least a slightly longer scar, and not necessarily better.

There are more and more plastic surgeons participating in insurance plans at the present time.  So I'd suggest that you visit a few different plastic surgeons in your plan (hopefully all board-certified) and then you can hopefully proceed with one of them.

I hope that this helps and good luck,

Dr. Alan Engler
Member of #RealSelf100

Plastic Surgery

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Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS


Dr. Engler has answered over 6500 questions on social media sites, including over 3500 on AllExperts alone. His expertise includes breast surgery (breast enlargement with implants, breast reduction, breast lifts), liposuction, eyelid surgery, tummy tucks, facelifts, lipomas, skin cancers, cysts, etc. Dr. Engler has been listed as one New York`s Top Doctors, and as "One of the World's Most Famous Aesthetic Surgeons" (Aesthetic Surgery, TASCHEN Books, Angelika Taschen, Editor). He is the author of 4 books, including "BodySculpture" (a best-selling plastic surgery book on breast surgery, liposuction and tummy tucks), "EyeScapes" (Plastic Surgery of the Eyelids), "Restylane," and "The Slim Book of Liposuction." Dr. Engler has two US Patents for surgical instruments that he's designed, and has appeared on numerous television shows, including The Tyra Banks Show, The Ricki Lake Show (four times), the Dr. Keith Ablow Show and Jerseylicious. Videos of his appearances are available on YouTube (search for "DR. ENGLER"), and his discussion of breast implants, also on YouTube is "How to Choose a Breast Implant." His website is Follow Dr. Engler: @AlanEnglerMD


Dr. Alan Engler is a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York and the author of BodySculpture - Plastic Surgery of the Body for Men and Women (ISBN 0966382749) one of the top-selling plastic surgery books on,, as well as EyeScapes - Plastic Surgery of the Eyelids.

Dr. Engler graduated from Yale University (BA, Russian Studies) and the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (MD). He did his residency training in General Surgery and, after that, Plastic Surgery, at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York. He is on the faculty of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York in the Departments of both Surgery (Plastic Surgery) and Medicine (Dermatology), and is a Special Lecturer in the Department of Dermatology at Columbia University in New York. He has admitting privileges at Beth Israel Medical Center and Montefiore Medical Center, both in New York.

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